The National Farmers’ Federation (NFF) has today launched an online campaign to increase community awareness about the importance of international trading partners and in particular the need for the China-Australia Free Trade Agreement to be ratified this calendar year.
Australian farmers rely on trade and international markets to generate $42.4 billion per annum for the Australian economy, with $9 billion in earnings from China alone.
The Farmers for Free Trade campaign seeks to highlight the significant benefits of access to new markets and the flow-on benefits to jobs in rural communities. As part of this, the NFF has today launched farmersforfreetrade.org.au to seek support and ensure the message gets out.
NFF President Brent Finlay said that the China FTA, if ratified, would deliver more jobs and opportunities right through the agricultural supply chain, including for farmers and the communities they support.
However, if the Parliament fails to ratify the China FTA this year it will mean that farmers and the Australian community will miss out on two rounds of tariff cuts. This will have enormous implications for the competitiveness and affordability of all Australian products in China, and set Australian agriculture back $300 million in 2016.
“Farmers make an enormous contribution to our country, and we must ensure that they are supported on the big issues that impact rural communities.
“Farmersforfreetrade.org.au enables the community, corporate entities and farmers to make a contribution to a broader China FTA campaign.
“Money raised will be used to support the campaign and generate greater awareness of the China FTA and the flow-on benefits to farmers and the broader rural community.
“The economic interest of Australia’s rural and regional communities need and deserve our attention, the public’s attention and the attention of our elected representatives.
“We look forward to having the China FTA ratified as soon as possible,” Mr Finlay concluded.